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Volvo Ocean Race

New Volvo Open 70 rule and notice of race revealed

Points for offshore legs will now be multiplied by five • Female crews of 14

vendredi 9 octobre 2009Information Volvo Ocean Race

The new look Volvo Open 70 Rule, published today along with the Notice of Race, confirm changes set to enhance the fleet racing in the 11th Volvo Ocean Race Volvo Ocean Race #VolvoOceanRace , which will start from its new home base of Alicante in Spain in the autumn of 2011.

The changes come as a result of extensive analysis carried out over the past 12 months by the Rule Management Group led by technical expert Ken McAlpine (Volvo Open 70 Rule) and rules expert Bill Edgerton (Notice of Race) in consultation with previous competitors.

- Knut Frostad, Volvo Ocean Race Volvo Ocean Race #VolvoOceanRace CEO : “This is the first time the race organisation Organisation #organisation has had a process in place to draft the Rule together with the sailors and teams to this extent. What we have come up with, I believe, are the right changes at the right time. What this Rule does is limit what it takes to win the race, therefore making winning it more achievable and entry into race more attractive to a larger number of teams.”

Changes include a move to furling or hanked headsails – no headfoils are allowed and a reduction from 24 to 17 race sails per boat. A single-boat team can only build 15 new sails prior to the race, and a team using a new boat and a second generation boat can build only 23 pre-race sails. Stacking of sails and equipment is restricted to the mid section of the boat below deck.

There are also strict limitations on masts and appendages. The total weight of the yacht has now been increased so that it must fit into the weight range of 14,000 - 14,500 kg, and a maximum keel fin and bulb weight has been set at 7,400 kg.

- Jack Lloyd, Race Director : “Everything has to meet the safety test. Nothing we have changed in the new fin arrangement and the weight of the fin and bulb will take us back to the keel issues of 2005-06. The biggest message that came back from the designers and sailors was ‘don’t change too much’. The boat is fast and it is strong. The furling headsails we have introduced are aimed at keeping crew off the foredeck as much as we can. That is a major danger area given the weight of water coming across the bow.”

The limit of the construction of only one new boat per team is a new feature ; however, a team is permitted to campaign an additional second generation boat. There is a total ban on two-boat testing before the race and if a single-boat team is using a separate second generation training boat, which they do not enter in the event, the team is limited to only 110 sailing days during 2010.

In addition to the 2,000-nautical mile qualification run, which has been a feature of the Notice of Race for some years, each team must now compete in a new 600-nautical mile qualification race, which will be held prior to the race start in Alicante.

The crew limit for an all-male or mixed team remains at 11, including the Media Crew Member (MCM), but new this time is the requirement for three crew members to be born on or after 1 September 1980. A female team can, however, comprise a crew of 14 including the MCM, representing three additional crew members over an all-male crew. No additional crew members are permitted onboard for in-port racing, which this time will be held in each stopover port.

The points system has also been overhauled and points for offshore legs will now be multiplied by five, and scoring gates multiplied by two. The in-port races will not attract a weighting and points will continue to be awarded for the best performances over two races to be held on each in-port race day.

Frostad confirmed that the key objectives when drafting the Volvo Open 70 Rule and the Notice of Race were :
- to reduce costs for participating teams
- to ensure improved safety and reliability of the boats
- to ensure that the Volvo Open 70 Class maintains its status as the fastest and most spectacular offshore racing monohull
- to ensure that an entrant can be competitive with a second generation boat from the 2008-09 race

- To examine the full detail and all the changes made to the Volvo Open 70 Rule and Notice of Race, you can download your copy here :

A bout The Volvo Ocean Race Volvo Ocean Race #VolvoOceanRace
- The next Volvo Ocean Race will start in the Spanish port of Alicante in the autumn of 2011.
- The boat design is regulated and built for speed whilst safety remains a key concern.
- The first 31,250 nautical-mile race first took place over 35 years ago (as the Whitbread Round the World Race 1973-74), testing the crews against some of the most ferocious elements that man can encounter. The 2011-12 race will be the 11th edition of the event.

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